Here is the actual size foto from which I am sketching and painting Vietnam Jungle VI, above … and below is the sketch and where I am now in the painting, day one …It has been about four days since I have had ANY time to paint!
I am working from the same exact palette as from the previous painting, because there is a lot left, and for consistency.
Initially, I looked at this photo, and wondered, Aren’t there a lot of DECIDUOUS trees in there? But then I recalled Vietnam Jungle II and it was also that way, and moved forward.
Okay, so what happened to me since the last blog? Where the hell have I been, you may ask? It has been quite the heart beater. I was accepted into The Artist as Messenger, The Art of Stewardship, Howard County Conservancy Show, in Woodstock, MD, on Wednesday, and have been working seemingly like mad to prepare for that, finding the two paintings, getting things ready, delivering the artwork, etc.
I also applied for another call for artists since then, the day it was announced … it’s been cray cray.
I am fairly sure my cortisol levels are up? because I’ve been having a time calming the heck down still, but I’m trying very very hard, which is probably not what I’m supposed to do, but I’m trying hard nonetheless.
In Friday’s counseling session, I said that I was pretty sure that the alter that remembered a really really rough section of abuses from second and third grade, which overlap another section from my babysitter during the same time period (gah!) that were really vicious — that I remembered in December — this sentence is awful I must say — well, that alter is UP. That is the the slap alter. So, my counselor said I need to get that anger out, because my inner world was becoming an internal HELL, not that anyone but me would KNOW.
So, I journalled Friday night and it was oh so helpful, and today, not yesterday mind you, but today I’ve been so much nicer inside, until about five o’clock for some reason. Hmm. I’ll take it, thus and so.
What I did, per the counselor’s instructions, was to detail the abuse ritual (gah!) and then come up with a fantasy ending, actually, what I would hope would have happened had someone called the police on the event, whereupon two nice emergency folks would have taken care of my wounds and gotten me to the hospital, and two nice police personnel would have taken the two abusers on to the nice JAIL.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
See, no one, not even me in December, ever took the time to CARE for her in that way, although one of the abusers did clean her up after the event for secrecy’s sake right? I don’t REMEMBER it — and it wasn’t for caring reasons, it was for covering up evidence sake.
So the emergency personnel in my fantasy are super uber nice about everything, and now even when she says, Slap, it’s even a little less venomous. Thank GOD.
She’s super defensive about being loved, being touched, well, about everything, don’t you know?
Anyhoo. So she should be. What she went through was so physically, and emotionally humiliating, not even a mule, not even an animal, well, I wouldn’t put even my abusers through it.
Oh, and get this. I was feeling so guilty for all she was doing IN MY HEAD to my nice alters. My counselor said, Because that’s all that’s left in there, Amy, is the nice ones.
I was so scared of being mean, turning mean inside my head.
See, I don’t want to be like my abusers. I wouldn’t intentionally be mean to anyone who was nice. I think twice before being slightly curt to anyone who is slightly mean to me, and even then, I might not, being a Buddhist, right? Years, years, ago, I stopped having revengeful fantasies about hurting my abusers and allowing ANY hatred inside because it was KILLING me. It was just eating me up inside. I decided, and this is in the first chapter of my first novel/memoir, Rebekah’s Closet, Let Karma find the Guilty.
I believe that so strongly, and it gives me so much peace.
So to have this child alter doing the slap thing, it just angers me so. I dislike it so, and I have NO control over it, you can understand, as a Buddhist, as a person who’s worked through all this anger/revenge stuff. Gah.
Anyway, I’m working on it.
So I’m making some good progress.
Like anyone would KNOW. Heh.
Oh, and I have to start reading the Five Things We Cannot Change again. Remember I had stopped reading it when I found out I was co-dependent? Bah. Well, I have to pick it back up again.
Truth be told, none of the Ortega y Gasset is making any sense to me lately, so it’s prolly a good thing, heh. He’s getting really, well, splitting hairs about being in the world and being of the world in a non-Buddhist way that is kind of driving me nuts.
I also dropped off work for a show at ArtDC in Hyattsville, MD, today? and will drop off more in Rockville, MD for the Capitol Arts Network? Suffice it to say, the easiest way to stay in the know these days for me is to keep checking the main page of my website, where I’m putting links and notices for shows:
The NYC show opened last night as well! Woo!
More to come! It’s truly exciting and unprecedented. I’m blessed. March and April are now quite full of drop offs and pick ups for shows.
I’m also steadily attending physically therapy twice a week. The potassium and magnesium supplements seem to be helping, but I do get muscle spasms, in my back, neck and ? hamstrings ? daily with any effort. Yoga and core work are happening, but honestly, all these other THINGS to do with shows and deliveries are hampering that.
Yesterday, I attended the 125th anniversary luncheon for my alma mater, Agnes Scott College, at the Mayflower in DC, which was incredibly inspiring. I cannot say enough about this. Now, I must say, my years at college were full of nervous breakdowns and challenges because of my years of abuse, of which I was unaware at the time, but I was superbly blessed to be at that college, where I was encouraged to learn and learn and learn as an individual.
I took one class at an unnamed local Georgia college my senior year because I needed the credit for Spanish and time and time again was IGNORED by the professor, even though I raised my hand. Several times in the beginning of the class I raised my hand and even said the answer to the question loud enough for him to hear, and even though someone else said the right answer after me? was ignored. A male was recognized every time. Gah.
At Agnes Scott I was respected and encouraged, expected to know the answer. Yes.
I’m so excited about all they are doing. The President of the college spoke and was wonderfully eloquent. Everyone I met made eye contact, and was DEEP, meaningful, caring, smart, and as the president said, FEISTY. Yes. I’m proud to be feisty.
When I was abused by these two abusers (the section of abuse that I remembered in December), one of them spread my long blond (then) hair out and said something like, See your pretty Amy now? We’ve killed her.
That stuck in me, for so long, not as a memory, but as … abuse … in my self confidence. Not that I cared so much, about the outside, I mean I did, my mother told me I was vain and not to look in the mirror and I learned over and over that the outside was not to be trusted or regarded as valuable, and to this day I don’t take external compliments well. But what stuck was the inside, self confidence. The feisty Amy was struck, hard. My ability to hold my head up.
In physical therapy, in many doctor’s offices where my spine is discussed over the years, it’s been noted that I don’t hold my head up properly. I’m still working on that. I know why.
Agnes Scott helped me to have a voice again, to realize that I had a mind to care about, on the inside, to question, to seek truth and power in the world.
And now, more than anything, I seek an inner beauty. Maybe no one can see it, maybe no one will ever know, but that is my goal, an inner world that is at peace ultimately.
I’m blessed with a nice nose, with good genes, right? I’m thankful but distrustful.
I seek an inner rose …